Beyond the Bio is a series that takes you past the canvas and into the minds of the artists and curators who build the contemporary arts community.

Photographer Jesper Johansen will be featured at Art City Austin: Art Alliance Austin’s 3-day art fair from March 31st – April 2nd at the Palmer Events Center.

ArtistJesper Johansen, Colorado

Primary mediumPhotography

Why do you make art?

I’ve always been interested in art and being creative. Growing up in Denmark, I was interested in design work, especially furniture and fine art. I never really was able to develop this interest fully until the last 10 years. Before that, it was just a hobby but now I’ve  turned it into my life and career and I love it!  I really enjoy when people are able to laugh and see the fun and light side of life.

Why photography?

The options with photography are endless and it allows me to show real life objects and nature, with a spin.

How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time?

I guess I’d say I’ve been an artist “officially”, if you can say that, for about 5 – 6 years but it has been with me forever.  Watching and talking with my customers and being immersed in the world of art has helped me discover new subjects within photography so I have been able to develop new lines of art as well as refine my current work.

What are you working on right now?

Oh, I have some exciting new ventures in the works that I can’t wait to share…abstract photography. I can’t wait to let you know when they’re ready!

Why make the journey to Austin?

I just heard a saying about Austin that I’m sure many of you know and that is, “Keep Austin weird!”. My art is fun and weird. Need I say more?

My cre­ations evolved into pho­tographs out of my de­sire to make fun draw­ings. I soon re­al­ized that the draw­ing process was te­dious and the col­ors would never be as bright as pho­tographs taken with nat­ural light. I found var­i­ous model train fig­ures in the garage from child­hood and had an epiphany, re­al­iz­ing that, with their help, I would be able to il­lus­tate my ideas in a much more spon­ta­neous and at­trac­tive way.

When I cre­ate my pho­tographs, I use a few sim­ple guid­ing prin­ci­ples.  The first is that the pic­ture has to be pleas­ing to the eye, mean­ing it has to be of great qual­ity and color. Sec­ond, the pic­ture should make the viewer smile or, prefer­ably, laugh.  Third, the tiny peo­ple allow me to cre­ate unique an­gles on life!

Keep up with Jesper on his website.

Beyond the Bio is curated by Art Alliance Austin, with the assistance of Scott Nyerges.